“Where do you experience the spirit of fluency in your life and where are you willing to live, ‘Like a river flows/Carried by the surprise/Of its own unfolding’?” Angeles Arrien
My first thoughts that arise to this question identify when I DO NOT experience fluency. I recognize that psychic stop in myself when I hold fast. When I resist. When I draw that figurative line in the sand and refuse to budge. Identifying it helps me realize how destructive this is for me.
And I suppose there are less obvious times – when I veer away from thoughts and situations instead of letting them wash over me or through me. What is so important about resistance? Because for me, this “flowing like a river” is the opposite of that. And since resistance in some form or another is my besetting sin*, I am going to concentrate on this flow in hindsight and foresight.
I am easy with so many things now. Most days I can trip lightly over the shenanigans of my family on Facebook and not snap back with instructive (or destructive) comments. I can usually smile and understand that all of us speak from our own age and experience. I know that not everyone would even look at my thoughts and theories – let alone espouse them. That’s okay.
I can usually hear the trials and tribulations of my children and grandchildren without spouting solutions. Of course, I am thinking solutions, but I am getting much better and swallowing them.
My husband and I have very different ideas on many things – from food to politics to family. I am no longer so tweaked by these differences. I understand that our joint thoughts and attitudes combine to make up a team that has worked pretty well through the years.
Probably most of all, I am easy about my own spirituality. Although I will always be a seeker after learning and higher thoughts, I am comfortable with my beliefs. It is well with my soul.
*I use this term loosely because I don’t really believe in the hard core concept of sin (but that is for another conversation).
I am rarely in resistance mode when in retreat. Interesting…
Does this mean that I am only happy when I can do exactly what I choose without interference and without opposition?
Does this mean that I am not doing anything worthwhile when I am alone and away from my scheduled life?
Does it mean that I work better without a schedule? Well, yes. It does. I am the most happy and productive when I am following my nose.
And I have not yet found a way to live this way in my daily life when not in retreat. For me, life involves commitment. Although I no longer work for pay, I still have responsibilities…jobs, if you will.
I’m wondering, though, if much of my scheduling is self-imposed. Perhaps I would get dinner on the table even if I didn’t decide what time I MUST begin. Perhaps in my volunteer job I could be more spontaneous in my visitations.
I’m not sure.
Daily life in community seems to involve some commitment and a part of that is to create a timetable that works for others as well as myself.
The answer will be, I think, somewhere in the realm of looking forward to commitments once they are made instead of allowing my automatic resistance to sully the experiences. Attitude will make the difference.
It will also involve acceptance.
And, as usual, I will remember to be grateful that I am healthy and active and capable of doing the things I do and that I am important in the lives of the people who are important to me.
“If you’re are paralyzed with fear it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”
― Steven Pressfield
In his work, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield talks at length about resistance. I’m very familiar with the subject and so perhaps what I have learned from his book is the value of resistance to our creativity. And, of course, he hit me in the face with what I already knew, that the only cure for resistance is to act. Just begin. Write, paint, sing, dance…do!
I have thought a lot about this naturally occuring human reaction and I am going to accept Pressfield’s premise that the higher the resistance to our creativity, the more valuable the work we have to do. Enough said. Got it!
It’s the resistance in my daily life that I value more highly right now. How would I come to self-awareness without my own resistance? Many times I don’t realize that I am on the wrong path until I find myself playing computer games and eating…continually. My mind is tired and nausea creeps in before I recognize that the heaviness in my chest is not from too much sugar. My body is there to talk to me. It is tired of whispering and ready for me to listen.
“I don’t want to do this.”
“That does not fulfill my purpose.”
I have boxed myself in, shut myself out, or become trapped in minutiae. I have buried my spirit in activities. I am following tradition rather than my own truth.
Yes, there are many messages. I have but to listen and change course, if ever so slightly. Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Pressfield.